Penang Sun Yat Sen Centre: A tribute to a Chinese national hero

An imposing statue of Dr Sun Yat-Sen (1866 – 1925).

The Penang Sun Yat Sen Centre commemorates the contributions made by Chinese national hero Dr Sun Yat-Sen (1866-1925) and his overseas Chinese supporters.

The building housing the Sun Yat Sen Centre.

The Penang Heritage Trust has produced a Penang Sun Yat Sen Heritage Trail comprising 19 historical sites in Penang visited by Sun Yat Sen or associated with his supporters in Penang.

A diorama of the sites in Penang associated with Sun Yat Sen.

This site, at 65 Macalister Road was originally a club house called Xiao Lan Ting, leading to the creation of the Penang Philomathic Union before becoming the Chung Ling School in 1923 and later the Fukien Girls’ School in 1935.

Sun Yat Sen stayed here when he visited Penang in 1905 and again in 1906 where he met local supporters of his revolutionary activities.

An artist’s rendition of Dr Sun Yat Sen.

The Penang Philomathic Union was founded by Dr Sun Yat Sen in 1908 as the headquarters for the South East Asian political wing for his revolutionary movement in China to overthrow the Manchu Dynasty.

The PPU set up a newspaper, established schools and coordinated defiance against the Japanese invasion of China.

The building was converted to the Sun Yat Sen memorial centre and museum in 2002.

One of the many exhibits in the centre.

The main exhibition halls depict episodes from the life of Sun Yat Sen, his struggles and rebellion against the Manchu Dynasty, the conditions in China under partial foreign occupation, the establishment of the Chinese Republic in 1912 and Penang’s role in the transformation of China.

Two rear galleries concentrate on Japan’s military expansionist policy and the anti-Japanese War in Malaysia and Singapore.

Nanyang Transportation Volunteers.

One gallery is dedicated to the contribution of Malayan Chinese in the Nanyang Transportation Volunteers, who constructed the Yunnan-Burma Road to provide a vital lifeline to China during the Second World War.

The museum uses charming clay figurines made by local craftsmen to bring history to life.
Powerful countries all wanted a piece of China – the eight nation alliance: USA, Russia, UK, Japan, Germany, Austria-Hungary, Italy and France.
The Penang Conference at No. 404, Dato Keramat.
Cutting off the mandatory queue hairstyle was a symbol of rebellion against the Manchus.

Review verdict

Interesting subject matter and nicely presented. Well worth visiting for anyone with an interest in Chinese and Malaysian history.

Penang Sun Yat Sen Centre
65 Macalister Road
10400 Penang
Malaysia

GPS: 5.415613, 100.324269

Tel: 04-228 5119 / 04-229 6118
Opening Hours: Daily from 9am to 5pm

Ticket price: RM5

This article first appeared in malaysia-traveller.com